Red Ridin' in the Hood : And Other Cuentos
by Marcantonio, Patricia Santos; Alarcao, Renato (ILT)

Jaime and Gabriela
Red Ridin' in the Hood
Blanca Nieves and the Seven Vaqueritos
El Dia de los Muertos
Juan and the Pinto Bean Stalk
The Piper of Harmonia
Alejandro and the Spirit of the Magic Lampara
Belleza y La Bestia
Emperador's New Clothes
The Three Chicharrones
The Sleeping Beauty

Presents a collection of eleven well-known tales, retold from a Latino perspective, taking place in the barrio, the Mexican countryside, and an ancient Aztec city.

Patricia Santos Marcantonio lives in Twin Falls, Idaho. Red Ridin' in the Hood is her first book.

Renato Alarcao has illustrated many books published in Brazil. He lives in Rio de Janeiro.

/*Starred Review*/ Gr. 3-5. The fractured fairy tale gets cool Latino flavor in this lively collection of 11 fresh retellings, with witty reversals of class and gender roles and powerful, full-page pictures that set the drama in venues ranging from the desert and the barrio to a skyscraper. The old scary demons, such as the witch in the forest, are in evidence, but there's also a Sleeping Beauty story told about a hurt, angry orphan witch who gets revenge for not being invited to a spoiled, rich girl's quinceacera. In "Emperador's New Clothes," Emperador runs the high-school scene. His perfectly gelled, spiky hair makes him look as if he just popped out of a teen magazine. Then Veronica tricks him into appearing at the assembly in his underpants. Unfortunately, some messages are much too heavily spelled out: Beauty teaches Beast not only about the revolution but also about the meaning of fear and true ugliness; Jack finds his dream not in the sky but in hard work. But the lively, fast-paced retellings, the Spanish idiom (there's a glossary at the back), and the dynamic, full-page pictures, several per story, make this great for storytelling collections. ((Reviewed March 15, 2005)) Copyright 2005 Booklist Reviews.

Despite its silly (and arguably insulting) title, Marcantonio's first collection exhibits a strong grasp on narrative and deft, if sometimes stereotypical, characterizations. These 11 traditional fairy tales, recast with Latino personae and often featuring Catholic overtones, range from the modern barrio (hence the title) to Maximilian and Carlota's Mexico to the days of the Aztec. The most successful is "Belleza y La Bestia" ("Beauty and the Beast"), told by the beast himself as his beauty, a supporter of Benito Juárez, teaches him to care for others. While too many of the tales have obviously didactic endings and Marcantonio's writing is more pop than distinguished, the narrative skill and the over-the-top attitude will appeal to readers ready for fractured fairy tales longer than The Stinky Cheese Man and the like. (glossary) (Fairytale. 4-7) Copyright Kirkus 2005 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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